After spending our night in Manchester, we headed off to Lancaster the next day for a programme called Perhimpunan Musim Sejuk (PMS). I know the name sounds a wee bit funny for those who know what PMS also stands for, but it's a good way to keep the name of the programme sealed in our minds :P
Before I proceed further, I might as well introduce PMS, based on my understanding and perspective. This particular PMS that I attended was a 4 day programme, targeting Muslim students across UK & Ireland. The PMS for the boys were held the week after at a different venue.
InsyaAllah, I will be sharing a little bit about what has been happening all throughout the 4 days in PMS :)
Just like most other programmes, we started off by registering. Personally, I felt like the registration took ages, and it might have seemed that way because I was too worn out by that time. However, the fact that I got to meet back with some of the seniors who I have met in Dublin previously made me feel a little bit better in the meantime. I missed them a lot, though it has just been days. The seniors here are always really nice. As the first child in my family, I have always wished that I have an elder sister. And somehow, Allah gave me dozens. Haha :)
So after the registration, we were allowed to have some time to rest, eat and do whatever we wished to do before the first slot begins. I went into the room that I was assigned to and snuggled in bed. The bit of stress that I was facing since day one of my travels kind of bottled up the moment I started to be alone. I wasn't used to going on long trips like this one. It was also pretty tough finding some time alone throughout the whole trip, so when I did find some, I somehow didn't want to interact with anyone else, at least for that while. So I kept quiet under the duvet covers and tried to gather more strength to face the rest of the days in the trip. I did cry somehow; I just wished that the upcoming days wouldn't be too hard on me and my friends. I actually just confessed the fact that I was a little bit stressed. I bet some people would wonder how could travelling make you feel stressed out. I guess it's just me, I'm much more of a stay home person :)
So yes, ekhem, after settling down, we attended the first slot for that night. The slot was called "Kompas Hati & Minda". The slot was personally a perfect start for me; firstly cause my favourite speaker was the one appointed to give a speech and secondly, it's a good reminder of the reasons why we're attending PMS in the first place. However, due to my lack of attention span, and the position of where I was sitting at that time, my mind did fly away somewhere else towards the end; but InsyaAllah, I was able to grab what she was trying to deliver :)
We began the next day with a slot called "World Around Us". The speaker touched on global issues to give us awareness of what's happening nowadays. I swear I didn't know beforehand more than 50% of what he told us. It was quite an interesting slot and I was looking forward for more.
That afternoon, we had an ukhuwah game and team building slot. In groups that we were arranged into, we were asked to create a model that portrays our pride (izzah) about Islam. We were given some sheets of newspaper, a few marker pens and a roll of cellophane tape. My group had quite a long brainstorming session but we finally settled down to making a model of a pair of glasses; Islamic glasses to be exact :P To add meaning to our model, we had the word Islam written on the inner part of the glasses. We wanted to show that we would feel proud being Muslim if we begin seeing everything in the Islamic perspective. It's more or less like that.
When it came to the presentation session, K.Lela (my senior) and I went up in front. I am only okay when I talk in a small group of people, but many don't really know that I get super nervous and blank when I have to go in front. However, I just had to see it as a chance for me to learn how to be braver, so I just didn't think much of whether to go or not to.
As time passed by, I could feel that everything was turning better, for me and my friends. That night, we had a slot called "Youths Before Us" with the cutest speaker ever. She's an Ustazah, way past our age. She was somehow a "bidan terjun" that evening. Though I sat right in front of her, I couldn't really capture everything she said. But I did jot down a few things that she said that night; among them are the story about Zaid bin Thabit who gathered the Quran at a very young age and also the story in Surah Al-Buruj (you can read about the story here: http://fareaster.blogdrive.com/archive/67.html). I'm pretty sure Ustazah mentioned these two stories. I am not really good at recalling what I heared according to a specific timeline, but I hope that this would do InsyaAllah :)
I felt like Day 3 was the best one out of all the four days :) We began our day with an Explorace, which was to me, really fun and beneficial :D There were around 5 checkpoints I think, and there were two checkpoints which I fancied the most. The first one from my favourites was about memorizing a hadeeth along with the people around. Everyone there were so cooperative. They helped me memorize the hadeeth and it was fun. In case you're curious about which hadeeth it was, it's Hadeeth 13 from the famous 40 Hadeeths :) My second favourite was this checkpoint where we were required to lift one of our group members just by using one finger each. We didn't believe we were actually able to do so, but we did! You should give it a try. It's actually possible to lift the heaviest person you might know! ;)
That night, we were all gathered for a performance by our seniors. I wish I could tell u everything about it here, but telling you a story of it won't even be even 0.000001 percent close to how awesome the play was! The play portrayed how our heart "suffers" when we are far away from Allah. That was by far the best live play I have ever seen :D
This day marked the end of the event. It was a completely meaningful stay. Next stop after Lancaster is Birmingham :)
And of course, below I have some photos during our stay there :)
Imagine seeing this crowd, multiplied by 10. That's how many people we got during the programme :P
Everybody's busy with their bags and cameras, and also meeting their friends :)
The cab that we took to go to Lake District.
The scenery at Lake District :) I miss this :)
We were all so mesmerized by how pretty the scenery looked like. It almost looks like a painting!
Just a random photo of the lush greenery (and cars) :P
The place where we stayed in. It's a sort of a hostel for International groups of people.
Another scenery :)
Some of the Corkians :D
Our bags. It was super hard moving around.
Can you see the flags? This place does receive International visitors :D
That night during the "Kompas Hati & Minda" slot :D